A team of researchers studying regionalism within international law and relations, who are based in UCLan’s Lancashire Law School, recently presented a themed panel discussion to the Regional Study Association (RSA) annual conference in Piacenza, Italy.
Their attendance at the conference was highly supported by the Institute for International and Comparative Law (IICL) which was founded in 2015 by professors Michael Salter and Keyuan Zou of Lancashire Law School.
Two publications in top-rated international journals have already arisen from the IICL, Salter and Yin 2014 and Salter and Uwazuruike 2015, which was launched last month with an inaugural conference.
The team members included: Dr Michael Salter, Yinan Yin, Valentina Meiksane, Allwell Uwazuruike and Sara Mariam Din. They each presented papers and research findings at a panel themed ‘On Regionalism Within International Law’.
Professor Michael Salter said: “The team’s attendance at this conference was funded by the Institute of International and Comparative Law. Our contribution is part of a wider project linking theory with a range of case studies which we plan to include both the Arab League and later the European Union.”
The team’s presentations compared and critically assessed the emergence of the Eurasian Economic Union, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the African Union with each in its own way testing and partly revising Carl Schmitt’s influential large-space or Grossraum theory of international law.
The team’s cultural diversity, including personal experience and language skills from various world regions and countries, made the teams’ involvement in the conference very beneficial. Their background experience and knowledge of international regulatory dimensions of each global region allowed them to conduct high quality, detailed research in areas of interest, bringing something unique to the project.
Valentine Meiksane added: "The impressions and experience that I received at the conference strengthened my desire to continue with the regionalism and international law project. I am keen to be involved in the work of the Institute of International and Comparative Law and I wish to enrol for a Masters of Philosophy in Law with further completion of a PhD and possible lecturing in International Law and International Relations."
"Attending the RSA Conference served as the first significant step towards my future career and what is more, it was only the beginning of my and UCLan's regionalism and International law team participation at the RSA organised conferences."
Aside from presenting, the team were also able to attend other panels which allowed them to listen to presentations on political regulation of regional development which could be further linked to their research.
During their stay they also got the opportunity to experience Italian culture and explore Piacenza tasting some traditional Italian cuisine.
As part of the conference they were able to attend the official reception, Gala Dinner and other conference events within the programme to add to the overall experience.
The RSA celebrated 50 years of regional research and impact this year. The RSA works with its international members such as the team from Lancashire Law School to facilitate the highest standard of research including issues of a subnational scale.